Friday, August 11, 2006

TPB Reviews (and a little ranting)

Haven't been to the LCS lately to pick up new comics, but found myself in a Barnes & Noble and managed to pick up a few TPB's.

Before I begin, I would like to say I like waiting for the trade. I know, in some respects, it's a bad thing for the comics industry. It cuts down on the monthly income and some series get cancelled before they have the opportunity to get traded. I know it has affected the way some writers approach the monthlies (writing for the trade) but I believe that that trend started before trades were even that common (I'm thinking of the long story arcs in Swamp Thing by Alan Moore...). I like trades because I can get a chunk of story and not have to worry about missing an issue.

I know, I know, I should have a pull-list... I just hate the idea so much. The best thing about buying comics, aside from reading them, is seeing them up there on that shelf, and being able to decide right then and there if I want to buy them or not. Picking through Previews and calculating what I want to buy three, four months from now has never been an exciting proposiiton. I like the surprise of seeing something new on the shelf... I also like the idea that I can drop a title immediately if it's not doing anything for me.

Which brings me to Hellboy: Strange Places. At last, I have the complete story to the minis contained within (2002's The Third Wish and 2005's The Island). I love Mignola's art, I think he's an artist's artist, but I've always been a little wary of his storytelling. I've never been all that confident that he's taking the reader somewhere... which is fine. Hellboy is a great excuse to draw all the monsters and creepy things that one would want to.

What pains me is waiting years for new Mignola art. I know he's been working on movies and what not, but it's kind of pissing me off. I think the nail in that particular coffin was The Art of Hellboy that came out a while ago. I was disappointed, really. I thought it was a great opportunity to share his creative process with his fans, but in reality, just a high-priced pin-up book, with a few sketches scattered here and there.

With that said, I liked Strange Places fine. I actually thought it was a good end to Hellboy, story-wise... Mignola says it's the end of the first chapter, but given his output, I'm thinking it may be the end, unless he's willing to turn over the art to someone else. I don't know. This probably sounds worse than I'm intending, but I just... no matter how good the story, no matter how good the art, sometimes it's just not worth the wait.

Moving on to Green Lantern Corps: Recharge. Fun, fun, fun. I've always liked stories about the Corps over the main Earth lanterns. I always thought that there was such potential in the concept. This series did not disappoint. I liked the interplay between all the different personalities, especially Kyle and Gardner. I think this is the first time I actually looked at Gardner as anything but a bullying, macho foil for others. He's actually heroic, without compromising his long-established image as the loud-mouthed buffoon. This series adds a dimension to him that I find compelling, the poozer that he is.


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